Simon and Garfunkel's classic album Bookends, released in 1968, marked the duo's emergence as both a brilliant creative force and one of their era's biggest-selling recording acts. Bookends, which arrived on the heels of Simon and Garfunkel's high-profile role on the soundtrack of the film The Graduate, is a brilliantly realized tour de force that captures the pleasures, tensions and fears of its era as vividly as any '60s album. Simon's literate, emotionally complex songwriting is matched by the ambitious production, which elevates the fiery folk-rockers "A Hazy Shade of Winter" and "Save the Life of My Child," the cinematic flights "America" and "Fakin' It," the intimate ballads "Old Friends" and "Bookends Theme," and the deceptively whimsical "Mrs. Robinson" and "At the Zoo." Sundazed's exact vinyl replica of this harmony-rich classic is sourced from the original stereo master tapes, making this release an essential component of any '60s pop/rock collection.
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from ENCINO, CA
Reviewed on 12/6/2009...
Awesome and amazing disc!
Preserve your memories-- they're all that's left you
Annie Van Auken | Planet Earth | 12/26/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"As has been stated repeatedly here, BOOKENDS (released in 1968) is the greatest of all Simon & Garfunkel albums, and one of the best records made in the 1960s.
Tonight, Christmas night, I've been thinking about Christmas of 1968-- I was 14 then. That was an awful year to live through for anyone, especially a kid. The Vietnam War, the assassinations of public figures, and seeing part of my city burn the previous summer during riots-- it was a lot to handle.
The song "Save The Life Of My Child" from BOOKENDS was in my head all throughout 1968. I identified with that frightened boy standing on the ledge, while a crowd below urged him to jump. His final thought as "he flew away" was "...I got no hiding place." That was exactly how I felt in those days.
What a powerful and unforgettable way to begin an album. The moods of BOOKENDS reflect so well the troubled times of the late '60s, with its anti-war sentiments (Punky's Dilemma), and its tales of love and love lost (America, Overs). The original first side of the record ends with the sad longing and fears of Old Friends, who sit on a park bench and reminisce together. But this bittersweet song has a deeper message. These old men were survivors-- if they were supposed to be elderly in 1968, then they made it through the Depression, and two world wars, and if they were the youth of 1968 projected into the future, well they too made it through trials by fire.
And so have I made it through! I'm in my 50s now and headed for that park bench one day. The fears and sadness of 1968 are long past, but a final memory remains:
As I lay in bed early that Christmas Eve, the colored glow of tree lights seeped into my room. Off in the distance were disembodied television voices of Apollo astronauts circling the moon-- they read passages from the book of Genesis, and wished well the "people of the good Earth." It was a peaceful and hopeful ending to a terrible year.
Very few albums truly encapsulate a moment in time. Even fewer connect deeply with listeners in ways they may not realize until decades into the future. Simon & Garfunkel's BOOKENDS is one of those rare examples. It is paradoxically timeless and a reflection of its time."
Definitely Their Best
Ron Toigo | VISTA, CA USA | 10/28/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I agree with Mr. Flaherty that this is a better album than Bridge. I got this album around the time it came out. I also got Bridge when it came out. I don't own Bridge any more but now have this one on cd. While Bridge had some good songs, I grew tired of it. Not so with Bookends. Just this morning, I listened to this cd and really got into it as I was commuting. At different times, certain songs on this cd appeal to me. This morning it was At the Zoo. I think PS's song comments on a lot of things. One, in particular is how we anthropomorphize animals with all sorts of human inventions: "Monkeys stand for honesty, Giraffes are insincere ... Zebras are reactionary, Antelopes are missionaries ... Hamsters turn on frequently." Yes, it's a gas."